The daily business briefing: October 19, 2017
Stock futures pull back after Dow's first close above 23,000, Kohl's launches partnership with Amazon, and more
Stock futures fall after Dow's first close above 23,000
U.S. stock futures dropped early Thursday, signaling a pullback as tech shares fell after the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped by 160 points, or 0.7 percent, on Wednesday to close above 23,000 for the first time ever. The Dow got a boost Wednesday from IBM's biggest one-day jump since 2009. It was the blue-chip index's fourth 1,000-point milestone in 2017, starting when it vaulted over the 20,000 mark in January. Some analysts said the day's rise was partly due to optimism about President Trump's tax cuts, although they cautioned against reading too much into the milestone. "Ultimately, this is just a psychological factor," said Jeff Carbone, managing partner of Cornerstone Financial Partners. But "what it does is bring up the question of how much higher can we go?"
Amazon starts selling smart-home products at select Kohl's stores
Ten Kohl's department stores in Los Angeles and Chicago started selling Amazon smart home products, such as the Echo smart speaker, and accepting returns for Amazon online purchases on Wednesday. Kohl's and Amazon have been working on the retail partnership since the spring, and Kohl's eventually will accept Amazon returns at 82 Chicago and Los Angeles stores. Kohl's joins Sears and Best Buy as prominent retailers who have entered into some type of partnership with Amazon. "I really do think it's an example of two companies that can leverage each other's strengths," said Michelle Gass, Kohl's chief merchandising and customer officer.
FDA approves first gene therapy for adults with blood cancer
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a one-time treatment for lymphoma in adults, only the second time a gene therapy for blood cancer has been given the OK in the United States. This is the first gene therapy approved for adults, and involves removing a patient's T cells, reprogramming them to find and kill cancer cells, then putting the cells back into the patient. The treatment uses the same technology as a gene therapy recently approved in the U.S. for childhood leukemia, and will cost $373,000 per patient, its manufacturer said.
NFL owners decide against penalizing players for anthem protests
NFL team owners said Wednesday after a two-day meeting that they had agreed not to penalize players for protesting social issues by kneeling during the national anthenm. The league said the owners had agreed to work with players on the issues they are trying to address. The protests started last year to call attention to cases of police mistreatment of African-Americans. "Look, we all want the players to stand, but as far as I'm concerned, because they want to stand as opposed to me having to tell them that," said John Mara, a co-owner of the Giants. The decision came despite objections and boycott calls from some fans. President Trump continued his criticism of the league. "The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem," he tweeted Wednesday. "Total disrespect for our great country!"
Ford recalls 1.34 million trucks over door latch issue
Ford Motor Co. said on Wednesday it is recalling 1.34 million 2015-17 Ford F-150 and 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks in North America due to an issue that could cause a door to open in some driving conditions. The company will add water shields to side door latches at a cost of $267 million. A frozen door latch or a bent actuation cable could prevent a door from opening or closing properly, the No. 2 U.S. automaker said. "The door may appear closed, but the latch may not fully engage the door striker with the potential that the door could open while driving, increasing the risk of injury," the company said in a statement. This problem is new, but Ford now has recalled more than 5 million vehicles for issues related to door latches since 2016.